Where did the money go? That’s one question the World Wide Fund for Nature is hard-pressed to answer amid allegations of misappropriations of funding for a program the aid group is implementing in Tanzania.
The allegations revolve around a project that aims to build the capacity of environmental civil society groups in Tanzania. WWF-Tanzania is implementing the project with funding from Norway. An initial investigation by auditing firm Ernst & Young revealed that a portion of the 25 million Norwegian kroner ($4.4 million) provided by the donor for the project has disappeared, AlertNet says.
Norway has since suspended its funding for the project and for a $2.5 million initiative to help Tanzania prepare for the United Nations-backed Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD+, mechanism. The head of WWF-Tanzania has also resigned and eight people connected to the allegations were fired, according to AlertNet.
The external auditing, meanwhile, continues with Ernst & Young expected to release a final report soon, according to Ness Inger, counselor on environmental issues at the Norwegian embassy in Tanzania. Inger said Norway will determine further action based on the report and in line with Norway’s “policy of zero tolerance of corruption.”
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